Pringles, Meet Frank.
Pringles is less chip more global icon. The pack, the pop and the chip are synonymous with sociable good times and hero worshipped by salty snack lovers across the world.
Although everyone knows Pringles, it is very much associated with parties, getting friends around for football and Christmas.
In order grow we needed to stretch the brand into new snack occasions.
Gaming was our opportunity to do this.
2.5bn gamers in the world each gaming on average 6 hours per week means lots of snacking opportunities. It is also a space where brands can engage with consumers in new and interesting ways.
A place where you can both build brand and sell product.
A place where consumers, culture & consumption meets.
For future growth Pringles needed to build a presence in the world of gamers and gaming.
In 2019 brands spent $128bn globally on in-game advertising alone. Getting a share of voice in this space was going to be difficult. We were working with limited budgets (our direct competition in Europe outspent us 2 to 1 on average) so it was pretty clear that we were not going to spend our way to success.
This limited our options but also freed our thinking. We needed to go beyond the traditional approach of big budget promotions, partnerships and sponsorships.
We needed to find a new way to get gamers to sit up and take notice.
Gaming was popular in all 18 of our European markets with 80% of the brand’s core audience of GenZ and Millennials game. There might be lots of them, but they are not easy to impress or engage with. Gamers live their lives immersed in big budget interactive experiences that few brands can rival (Grand Theft Auto V, the most expensive game ever made, cost $265million to produce and still only managed to score 8 out of 10 in gamer reviews). A traditional top-down advertising approach was unlikely to create the impact we needed. To succeed we had to find a different way. We needed to speak to gamers on their level, in their language and in their channels.
Gaming had undergone a transformation over the last decade. Modern gamers are now very different to the outdated cliches of solitary, male-dominated videogaming.
Gaming culture was now becoming more social, a place where people came to connect and where communities were built on platforms such as Twitch, YouTube and Twitter.
These communities congregated around shared interests in game titles and genres, watching games being played, gaming influencers with massive followings and social channels.
To create a new level of engagement we saw the opportunity to go beyond just advertising in game and gamer media to build something truly designed around these communities. Ideas that could flow through different gamer channels and spaces. Starting with the games itself before expanding into other channels.
Our audience didn’t want ad campaigns. They wanted content that fuelled the conversations in their gaming communities and tapped into the social dimension of gaming. This has led to a series of ground-breaking campaigns: Meet Frank.
The hero of our campaign was Frank. A socially awkward Zombie that just wanted to be accepted and have fun. Working with Xbox and game studio Raw Fury we turned Frank into a character in the hit indie game West of Dead.
We then did something incredible. We brought Frank to life, bursting him out of his game to scare the life out of a Twitch streamer as they played the game LIVE (luckily, he was just after the Pringles).
Next, we made Frank famous. Making friends with Europe’s top gaming streamers, taking over Pringles social channels and getting a starring role in our advert and our promotions.
We turned Frank into a gaming icon, bringing Pringles the gaming fame it was after in the process.
Our campaign was seen worldwide, with over 686 million projected media impressions, over 100 pieces of coverage, 9.9 million minutes watched on Twitch and making it into the top 10 most watched streams globally.
Importantly, it was also loved and generated conversation, with #Frank and #Pringles both trending on Twitter in multiple countries, peaking at #3, and viewers showing total fandom for the campaign: ‘no-one who was there will ever forget this’.
The campaign even ignited its own array of fan art dedicated to Frank and a fake Frank Twitter profile.
All this excitement resulted in sales increases too.
Our campaign generated a +24.7% sales increase for Pringles across key markets.
It even had a knock-on effect on sales of the West of Dead game Frank was born from, increasing their games sales by +108%.
Pringles Meet Frank
Although Pringles is a well known brand, it is very much associated with parties, getting friends around for football and Christmas. In order grow we needed to stretch the brand into new snack occasions. Gaming was our opportunity to do this.